This vineyard was planted in the 1920's, a time of speakeasy clubs like The Blind Tiger that thrived during prohibition. Thankfully those times have past but other legacies, like this vineyard, remain.
Above average autumn rains set the vines up well. There was some heat during flowering which reduced crop levels, but with no ill-effects on quality. There was some more warm weather in January as the reds were going through verasion, this did no damage, but did encourage an early start to vintage. The day time temperatures were mild through out ripening with mild to cool nights. 2010 was a very strong vintage in McLaren Vale with the reds in particular showing excellent varietal characters and balance.
Small batches of grapes are crushed gently and then transferred to five tonne headed down open fermenters. These batches remain separate until final blending. Foot treading is undertaken two thirds of the way through fermentation. The wine is then basket pressed and transferred to a mixture of new and used French and old American oak barriques to complete fermentation. The barrel ferments are aged on lees, there is no racking until final blending and no fining or filtration.
The nose is generous with rich, dark fruits especially plums mulberries, soot and dark olive. There is a more subtle second layer of root vegetables and a lifted aniseed character which provides an interesting note to the powerful fruit. Opulent plum and mulberry characteristics initially dominate the palate. Then the wine evolves with roasted beetroot, fennel and floral notes appearing. This wine is incredibly juicy and very long lasting. A real old vine concentration of soot, soil and dark olive comes through in this wine. This wine strikes a rare balance of power, complexity and finesse with impressive structure that will reward those with patience to cellar it.